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Art as a business in India

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Some people prefer to stay stuck in their cubicles for 9 hours staring at a screen and at the end of the month receive a modest pay check. And then there are those people who prefer paintings patrons and the joy of a career that is more than any pay checks.

In India, the culture of art has been going on for centuries. The origin of art can be traced before Christ era. The ancient arts are seen in the caves and carved on the walls of the temples. Later, during the Mughal Empire, one observes emperors with a patronage for the fine arts. Today, with the rise in photography, visual art has taken a side-line. Having said all this, people are showing interest in art. It should not just become a hobby, but people should take it as a profession, a business. A successful artist does not have a career, they run a business. There are two categories of people involved to run this business. First, the artist who creates an art and second – the promoter, who exhibits and sell the art.

To become an artist you don’t need an art degree. Knowledge comes in varied forms, and even though a classroom is a valid one, a degree is completely unnecessary if you want to start your own venture and sell your art. No one will ever ask you about your degree, but they do care that you have knowledge and an opinion about what you paint and sell. If you have a burning desire to learn, you will find the insights you need.

One thing that ambitious artists continually destroy their businesses with, is their lack of confidence. It is not important that one has to create the world’s greatest masterpieces in order to become a professional artist. There is a market for every type of art and you just have to be the best artist according to your customer’s point of view. That means being the best thing available to them in their own domain of influence. People like amazing piece of art that looks good, but they buy it because it makes them feel good. Today, even a common man started buying an art piece to decorate a corner of his house.
Hospitals, an educational institution, big organizations, etc. everywhere, people have started putting up art. This is not an expense, but an investment.

To start your business of art, you need to analyze and team up with an existing platform to sell your art. This will help you to reach out to an existing audience as well as take the benefit of an existing sales tools, you don’t have to develop neither of them by yourself. Each platform like an art gallery or an online art commission website are completely unique. If you are concentrating on fine art, maybe selling prints is not a good idea or if you are a pop artist creating a merchandising line is a good move. If you decide to be a part of several platforms at the same time it’s important that your pricing is the same on every platform, if someone buys an artwork and then finds out that the same art piece is available at a lower rate at some other gallery or website, then they will feel cheated and are likely to not buy from you again.

The business of art is a wide network, comprising of the artist at the bottom level, followed by art galleries at the medium level and the topmost level is about the big organization where art auctions take place. In India, the art business is in its elementary stage and it needs to grow further to cope up with the market in the US and other countries.

The Author is Ms. Anjali Jain, owner of Kala Drishti.

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